Sun, Sep 25, 4:02pm by Jake Equid
Grand Final fever has gripped two cities in the lead-up to the NRL’s showpiece event but it is the beachside town of Cronulla which has really been sent into a frenzy with their club qualifying for their first Grand Final since 1978.
The Sharks achieved that feat by steamrolling the highly fancied reigning premiers, the Cowboys by 32-20 on Friday night at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.
24 hours later, the Storm booked their place in the decider for the first time since their 2012 premiership with a hard-fought 14-12 victory over the Raiders in Melbourne. The Storm side is littered with representative stars but it was journeyman centre Cheyse Blair who scored the match-winning try.
We can only hope that this year’s contest can get anywhere near the heights that were achieved last year which has been widely regarded as the best ever. The Cowboys holding off the Broncos 17-16 in golden point extra time.
Here’s a look at the early odds for the grand final:
Grand Final –Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks
ANZ Stadium – 7:15pm Sunday 2 October
The Provan-Summons Trophy is on the line when the Storm meet Cronulla at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday night.
The Sharks are the fairytale story of the year and are aiming to win their first premiership on Sunday, exactly 50 years after entering the competition.
Melbourne moved into their second Grand Final in five years by outlasting Canberra in a a game that had everything. The Storm needed the full 80 minutes to hold off a fast finishing Raiders side after Elliott Whitehead trimmed Melbourne’s lead to two points with just four minutes remaining to set up a grand stand finish.
There are several match-ups to look forward to but the battle between Cronulla’s Valentine Holmes and Storm sensation Suliasi Vunivalu. The pair were two of the top tryscorers in the league this season.
Having said that though, defence generally steps up a notch in grand finals and Sunday night’s game will be no different.
Head to Head
Big Win Little Win
1st Try Scorer
Total Match Points – Over/Under
Stay tuned to australiangambling.com.au over the coming days for betting previews including best bets and video previews and as we continue to preview the NRL Grand Final.
Odds supplied by Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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